Media Release

Crime, brothels, and noisy pubs: Property deal-breakers buyers can’t overlook

  • New study reveals would-be homebuyers most deterred by proximity to crime (75%) and noise (68%)
  • Buyers warned not to write-off properties too soon
  • top tips for sellers

15 August, 2016, Sydney, Australia – New figures have revealed the top property deal-breakers that prevent buyers from buying real estate, with Australians having little tolerance for crime hotspots, according to, Australia’s most visited comparison website.

The survey of 2,033 Australians found 75% of people would not buy a home if it was in an area with an above-average crime rate.

Two in three (68%) of Australians would be put off if a house was too close to a noisy pub, while 64% consider a home in an industrial suburb a deterrent.

The survey revealed other major deal-breakers such as public housing in the neighbourhood (36%), an area with an above average unemployment rate (33%) and property being located within 2km of a brothel (33%).

Being a deceased estate was one feature that 12% of buyers could not overlook, while 7% of prospective buyers would be turned off a property if it was located within two kilometres of a fast food chain. Similarly, 7% of people said they’d be discouraged by a lack of suburb ‘trendiness’.

House number 13 was a deal breaker for some superstitious house hunters, with one in 20 (5%), avoiding houses with this number.

However, Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at, says prospective buyers shouldn’t ‘write-off’ a property too soon.

“There’s a difference between true deal breakers and factors that house hunters worry unnecessarily about. Don’t be too quick to judge as your preconceived ideas could see you miss out on a hidden gem.

“Interestingly, the third biggest turn-off was a home in an industrial area. But keep in mind that gentrification can positively impact lifestyle and property values as the area goes through a process of urban renewal.

“The areas buyers are looking to purchase in will not be the same area in 10 years from now, it can evolve dramatically over time”, she says.

Ms Hassan says while some things may be out of your control, sellers should take measures to address potential concerns and boost the appeal of your property before putting their property on the market.

“For example, if your home is in a high crime area and you don’t have an alarm, get buyers on side by installing a security system. If your home is blighted by noise pollution, opt for double glazed windows.

“Be open about the pitfalls, but be sure to emphasise the area’s or home’s unique perks,” she says.

Suburb / property characteristicACTNSWQLDSATASVICWA
If it had the street number 131%5%6%5%2%4%8%
If you knew the property was a deceased estate10%12%11%10%8%15%15%
If the area had an above average crime rate76%73%78%76%74%71%81%
The previous owners had a pet1%4%5%4%5%5%5%
If there were housing commission residents in the neighbourhood19%39%36%27%29%42%42%
If the property was within close proximity (within 2km) to a high-end supermarket, such as Woolworths, Coles or Harris Farm0%4%5%4%5%6%6%
Close to a noisy pub/bar69%69%69%65%64%65%74%
If the property was within close proximity (within 2km) to a fast food chain4%7%7%6%5%10%8%
Located in an industrial area60%62%65%63%50%67%69%
If the area had an above average unemployment rate36%34%40%31%23%27%38%
A lack of suburb "trendiness" (e.g cafe culture)4%7%6%5%4%11%8%
If the property was within close proximity (within 2km) to a brothel31%34%31%27%26%33%42%
None of the above14%10%11%11%11%10%8%

Source: survey of 2,033 Australians conducted in June 2016.

Gender breakdown

  • Women (79%) were more likely than men (70%) to be deterred by a house in a high crime area
  • Women (39%) were almost twice as likely as men (22%) to be put off by a house within close proximity to a brothel
  • Men (6%) had a bigger gripe than women (4%) with a property if the previous owner had a pet

Generation break down

  • More than one in five Gen Y (21%) were turned off a property if it was a deceased estate compared to 14% of Gen X and only 6% of baby boomers
  • Baby boomers (78%) had the biggest problem with a house for sale being in a crime hotspot, compared to 76% of Gen X and 69% of Gen Y.
  • Over one third of Generation X (35%) would not buy a property within 2km of a brothel

State by state

  • More than one in 10 Victorians (11%) would consider a lack of suburb ‘trendiness’ (e.g. cafe culture) a major turn-off.
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) of West Australians couldn’t handle living too close to a noisy pub
  • The survey found West Australians are also the most superstitious with 8% put-off by a home with the street number 13.
  • NSW, SA (4%) and ACT (1%) house hunters were least bothered if the previous owner had a pet living in the home top tips for sellers

  • Time it right: Spring is traditionally a popular time to put property on the market with more buyers around, and with just under four weeks left of winter, now is a good time to think about listing if you want to sell.
  • Price it right: If you are putting too high a price on your property you risk scaring everyone off and the listing going ‘stale’. Talk to multiple estate agents about their valuation and choose a realistic price range . Make sure to research sold prices of comparable properties in your local area to get a feel for the price.
  • First impressions count: Some buyers make their decision before they have even stepped through the front door so do what you can to boost your home’s street appeal. Small upgrades or renovations can add value to your home while small low-cost tasks such as trimming trees, clearing away clutter, pressure cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can also go a long way.
  • Avoid definite turn-offs: While there’s not much you can do about the local crime rate, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re not deterring potential buyers. Make sure the property is free from any pet hair or smells, add soundproof your property correctly if nearby noise is a problem.
  • Be upfront: Don’t shy away from issues that could lower the selling price. Instruct your agent to be open with buyers about any potential problems they have cited – such as if the property is a deceased estate. If these concerns are talked about early on, it’s less likely a transaction will fall through at the 11th hour.


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